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EU elections: Le Pen’s niece to run new far-right list against immigration and ‘Islamisation’

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A new far-right list will contest the 2024 European elections in France, led by former MP Marion Mar?chal, under the colours of ?ric Zemmour’s party, Reconqu?te!.

“We are going to make the European elections on 9 June [2024] a referendum on immigration”, Zemmour said in an interview to Le Figaro on Wednesday evening (6 September).

A candidate in the 2022 presidential election – when he came fourth with 7% of the vote – Zemmour has nominated former Front National MP Marion Mar?chal to head his list for the 2024 poll.

Mar?chal is the niece of Marine Le Pen, leader of the Rassemblement National, whose list – led by MEP Jordan Bardella – she will be competing with.

In an interview with the TF1 television channel on Wednesday evening, Mar?chal described the 2024 election as “a historic opportunity”, because “for the first time, we have the chance to turn the European Union held by the centre and the left towards a majority of the true right”.

Mar?chal said she wants to defend “our civilisation rather than the ravings of the Commission”.

According to Mar?chal, “we have the opportunity to rally right-wing voters around a great battle”, pointing to “the defence of our identity, our culture, our values, which are today threatened by the flood of immigrants and Islamisation”.

The former MP also wants to run for “the defence of the family, the fight against woke propaganda, the defence of economic freedoms, of enterprise, the end of statism, of the plundering of taxes”.

According to Zemmour, interviewed on Cnews on Thursday (7 September), immigration is “the challenge of the century for France and for Europe” and an issue between “the Islamic world” and Europe, “the Christian world”.

Zemmour’s party is believed to be having talks to join the eurosceptic European Conservative and Reformist group.

“Formal and informal contacts with the CRE group” are underway, a well-informed source within Reconqu?te! confirmed to us.

“We want to join [CRE] after the European elections”, she confided.

What’s more, “we share the essence of our political platform”, she continued, mentioning the identification with “the civilisational right” and the attachment to “economic freedoms”.

Chaired by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party, the ECR fits in well with the nationalist, identity-based, anti-immigration, anti-Islam and pro-NATO line advocated by Zemmour and Mar?chal. Santiago Abascal’s nationalist Vox party in Spain and the Law and Justice party in power in Poland are also part of the group.

Sources within the ECR, contacted by EURACTIV to confirm talks or even membership, said that at this stage “nothing is on the table”.

Zemmour’s party currently has one MEP, Nicolas Bay, who was elected under the colours of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement national in the 2019 European elections. Three other MEPs – Gilbert Collard, Maxette Pirbakas and J?r?me Rivi?re – made the same choice, but left Reconqu?te! after the presidential election in 2022.

The four then moved from the Identity and Democracy parliamentary group to the Non-attached Group.

Opinion polls suggest that Marion Mar?chal and Reconqu?te! would claim between 6.5% and 7%, which would guarantee it 5 or 6 seats – the qualification threshold is 5% in France.

While the Rassemblement National’s is polling around 25%, the right-wing Les R?publicains (LR) party could suffer from the new competition.

In the 2022 presidential election, LR recorded a historically low score – 4.78% – after the 8.48% of the 2019 European elections.

[Edited by Benjamin Fox]

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